Its the holiday season and you are hunting for ideas on how to lighten up your house and give it a new look ahead of the coming festivities, or you are just searching for a DIY assignment to perform. One of the most common and inexpensive ways to give your house a facelift is to use designed lights. Light, when it is beamed out of another container asides from the boring lamp holder, is an exciting experience. It can make your room lively and if you have kids, they are sure to love it. It might not make economic sense to buy new types of light that you will only use for at most a five day holiday and then dispose of them. A solution to this problem is to make your ball lights.
Making them yourself has many advantages which include cost savings, fun time for the family, a handy project to keep you occupied and significant stress relief. Have you ever walked into a room lighted by rattan ball lights? You will notice the reflection of the light and how the rattan ball tends to bend it across the room. This lends an individual feel to the room. You can make this feel spooky by changing the rattan’s design and colour. You could also make it joyful by using the right blend of paint and design.
Without much ado, let’s dive down into the business of how to make rattan ball lights.
Tools and materials needed
1. Rattan wood: if you don’t get slim enough rattan wood at the store, you can always make the one available lighter by using a knife to remove the excess parts.
3. Basin of Water
5. Paint and a paintbrush
We assume that you have bought the rattan and you are looking at it, wondering where to start from.
The first step is to soak it in water and leave it for some time. Rattan is usually challenging when bought from the store, and you need it to be soft enough for your crafting and twisting.
If you are crafting with rattan wood that hasn’t been soaked in water already, you will likely get a jumbled up pile of useless wood. You should leave the rattan in the water so that it gets damp but not soaking wet. If it is soaking wet, allow it to dry off a bit before you start working on it. You make your work easier as working with a very damp rattan can be a pain in the neck.
After doing this, the next step is to weave the rattan around a suitable bulb.
Now, on your choice of bulb to use. Ideally, you should use a bulb bright enough to provide light to all the necessary parts of your house. Also, the bulb should fit into the rattan bulb-holder you are making for it.
Lay the first set of rattan wood on the floor in a strip-like arrangement with some spaces between each stripe. Take the second set of stripes and weave each of them into the first set you’ve laid on the floor. This might sound confusing but here’s an explanation. Make sure the first strand of the second set of the Rattan material passes over the top of the first strand of the first set, then under the second one, then over the third one and under the fourth one. Continue like this till you’ve exhausted all strands of the second set. You should have what looks like a woven mat when you’re done weaving.
The next step is to try to bend the mat into a sphere. We recommend placing an actual bulb on the woven rattan and then rolling the woven rattan around it. You can then complete the sphere by passing the rattan’s remaining loose strands across it just like you would if you are spinning yarn. This zig-zag movement will continue until it reaches the edge. You can tie it off or leave it for now as we are coming back to work on it.
Do the same thing for all the strands but make sure there is enough space between any two sets of interwoven rattan. This is to allow the light to pass through.
Tie off the strings’ ends by using glue to hold them down or cutting them out.
I assume you are not just making one bulb light. So, you will repeat this process for three or more bulbs to have a full set of rattan ball lights for your room or the outdoors.
After that comes the fun aspect of this whole project; the painting. You can now apply your colour paint to the rattan ball lights to give it the effect you want.
If it’s Halloween, you can paint them orange. You can paint them any other cool colour you or your kids want.
Finally, connect the lights to your electricity supply and power it, and your rattan ball lights are ready. Check this article out if you want to learn how to make rattan ball lights blink on and off like other holiday lights.
Frequently asked questions
Is there any safety risk to this?
No, there is none. As long as you follow everything detailed here and observe standard precautions of working with wood or wooden materials, then you will be fine. If you are worried about the rattan ball light being flammable, then put your mind to rest. The rattan wood being used is not as flammable compared to regular wood. There are less chances of the ball light catching fire.
Can I use them outdoors?
Yes, but in good weather. Rattan wood is not waterproof, and it can get wet. Hence, the weaves may loosen when exposed to rain. So, it is better to be on the safe side and take them in at any sign of bad weather.
What can I use instead of rattan?
If Rattan is not available, you can substitute it with either yarn or bamboo to produce the same type of ball light. If you are using bamboo, then you can follow the exact steps outlined above to make ball lights, but the steps are slightly different if you are using yarn. Watch them video below to learn how to make ball lights with yarn.
For further readings, check out some guides on different topics:
With just a great eye for detail, you can make beautifully designed and crafty rattan ball lights without needing to break the bank.